Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Private Population

Campaigners outside kanayama station, Nagoya, on Saturday afternoon, calling for support for the democracy movement in Myanmar (Burma). One of the Japanese volunteers spoke of the difficulty of obtaining the support of the Japanese people. While the Japanese media has been working overtime to report the death of journalist Kenji Nagai, the subsequent repatriation of his body and his very well attended funeral, the Japanese people themselves seem reluctant to show open support.

The volunteer spoke of a protest held in Nagoya two weeks ago to highlight the oppression of the people of Myanmar by the current millitary junta. A total of 70 people attended. He was dissapointed with the turnout, comparing it to rallies held in London and New York.

He reasoned that the Japanese people were disinclined to involve themselves on a personal level with a problem outside their boarders, adding that even the abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korean agents provoked little response from the people themselves. This may or may not be the case, but Nagoya is known to be one of the most conservative areas of Japan, and perhaps not the easiest place to provoke a such a public response.

The military junta of Myanmar still continues to round up opposition, and seems to be targetting people like Kenji Nagai, journalists who wish to show the world the truth.

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